Pet owners in all areas are asked to stay vigilant as mysterious white chalk marks and cable ties outside homes could be linked to a series of dog thefts. Photos of the white marks on fences, gates and brickwork in the Tydavnet area have been shared on social media, with many wondering if they’re being targeted because of their pets. These markings aren’t the only thing to look out for. It is also thought that thieves are leaving people’s gates open in the hopes dogs will run out and they can steal them. In other scenarios strangers knock on your door to see if you want work done, and that’s how they know you have dogs. Please be very aware.

The increase in dog thefts has been linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, with more people seeking a pet while in lockdown, therefore the monetary value of pets has increased sharply recently. Prevention of this criminal act is best achieved by responsible dog ownership, keeping pets out of sight and closed in yards around the house, and having your dog safe under your control at all times is a legal requirement. Dog owners should have their pets licenced and microchipped, with the microchip number registered with your current contact details. Scanning a pet that is microchipped but not registered to the owner means your dog can’t be traced back to you. Take care everyone!